My Final Message
Bob Braile, D.C., F.I.C.A.
This is my final message to you as the ICA president. If I had one word that could sum up my feelings it would simply be "Proud". I feel proud about a good many things in ICA and chiropractic. This in no way means I feel satisfied or complacent. I know, better than most what challenges and opportunities lie before us. Im well aware of the threats and possibilities that exists inside and outside of chiropractic. No my feeling of pride is not in completed accomplishment, but rather in the continued resolve of many to advance.
As I reflect back on the three and a half years of my presidency I feel proud, especially of you the member. Through all that has happened in chiropractic and health care in general, you the member have hung in there. All the numbers in health care say the same thing. Insurance is paying less to the practitioner, yet more people are going to chiropractors than ever. To me this means you are winning. You the ICA member are turning the tide of understanding from a mechanistic, allopathic, treatment of disease model, to a wellness vitalistic chiropractic model.
Never believe that leaders alone can carry the day and change society. It was and is YOU the practitioner, who every day goes into his or her office and adjusts your segment of a subluxated world that is making the difference. I feel proud and humbled that you allowed me to be president at a time when you were changing health care on a global level, one patient at a time.
I would be remiss if I did not express my pride of all those elected officials who have been part of this ICA movement. Every doctor who serves in every elected and appointed position in ICA deserve our thanks for the tireless effort they have put forth to protect and promote this thing we all love, chiropractic. I am proud of our officers who have given so much time out of their lives. I am proud of our Board, who has maintained the course of principled chiropractic while advancing our reach to the world.
I am proud of the ICA staff in our home office in Arlington. They have done so much with relatively so little. These people who are mostly not chiropractors, are champions for ICA and chiropractic. I am proud of every last one of them. They have stretched every million into two million worth of results.
I am proud of the accomplishments we have made together. We have brought ICA and chiropractic into cyberspace with a top-notch, very highly visited web presence. We have increased the communications from ICA to its members exponentially. We have created the most in-depth chiropractic guideline available. We have produced the first modern chiropractic dictionary. We have increased ICAs visibility in the profession and though out the health care world.
Only with your support have we been able to accomplish anything. You have a lot to be proud of, for it was you the member that made all this happen. Daily you enter your offices, care for those in need, work to earn a living, and then compliment us by sending in your hard earned dollars as dues payments. I can think of a greater compliment you have given to ICA and me, then when you send in your dues payment. This small act says you want to continue to move chiropractic to the mountain top.
I know well that ICA is not perfect. ICA is not an office, a publication, a set of policies, or any type of product. ICA is people. ICA is you! And speaking for myself, people are not perfect. Considering the massive amount of money and clout used in an ongoing attempt to eliminate chiropractic over ICAs 73 year history, you should be proud that we are still here. Proud of the fact that ICAs understanding of chiropractic has not only survived, but is thriving and growing toward being the dominant paradigm in health care.
It has been you the ICA member who has actually made this happen. It has been your adjustment of Mary in the morning with her arthritis, or your adjustment of John with his asthma later in the afternoon that has made the difference. It has been you taking the time to tell them the chiropractic truth, your going the extra mile in chiropractic that has turned the tide. I take no credit for riding your wave of success. All I really had to do was not lead in the wrong direction, you already knew the way!
We are not there yet. In fact Im sure we will never really get wherever "there" is. For our success is not measured in the destination, but rather in the journey. But have confidence in you. You have brought us this far, you will bring us the rest of the way. As long as good doctors of chiropractic continue to go into their office and "turn on the power" as we say. You can not be stopped. We have moved from seeing 6 to 8 percent of the population when I came out of school, to between 12 and 17 percent. If this continues to double each generation, we will be the dominant form of health care delivery in a short span of time.
I cant believe that at 43 years of age, I am ending my climb in political activity in ICA. I will always be involved. Im just not sure what innate has planned for me next. But then again, I didnt know what innate planned for me up till now. So why should now be any different.
There are to many to thank, to many mentors to praise. I will be recognizing each of them in other public forums. This publication does not have enough pages for me to express my gratitude for those who have given me so much. I feel proud to have know them, learned from them, and served them as ICA president. I hope I have lived up to some of their expectations of me.
We have had many successes and several failures over the past years. I am proud that it was not for a lack of effort that we didnt get everything we had hoped for. I am probably most critical of myself. I wish I could have done more. But I remain proud that we made the attempt.
The words of Winston Churchill express it best when he said: "Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs though checkered with failure. Than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much, nor suffer much, because they live in that gray twilight that knows not victory, nor defeat."
Yes I am proud and honored that you have allowed me to dare mighty things. I am proud of all us who are a part of this thing we call ICA. I shall close with a quote from my very first presidents message three and a half years ago.
Proud to be Chiropractic!